Why does my horse need treating?
The greatest force working on the body is gravity. In the case of a quadruped, this force is constantly pulling down on the abdomen and spine. Add the weight of a rider and the forces are increased.
When horses aren’t using their bodies correctly, they are putting various stressors through their joints which creates dysfunctional movement and can develop into pain. Chiropractic helps maintain optimal joint mobility, muscular tone, and neurological function to enable maximum performance.
Chiropractors are extensively trained in subtle observation and palpation skills which detect joint dysfunctions or unbalanced movements. These can be brought to your attention early, before they begin having a negative effect on performance.
Manual therapy is well researched on humans for its performance enhancing ability, and is growing within the equine field. Just as a human athlete would have ongoing treatment for the maintenance of health and optimal performance, your horse should too. Chiropractic treatments can help all disciplines of horse riding by improving: symmetrical movement, bending, collection, and lateral movements. It can increase the length of stride and balance muscle development. This enables your horse to use its full potential; increased power and acceleration is essential for jumping, dressage and racing.
Maintenance chiropractic treatments minimise your horse’s risk of wear-out or injury and maintains health and performance.
Signs my horse is in discomfort
Horses are prey animals and are designed not to exhibit signs of weakness which could be taken advantage of by predators. You will probably feel your horse is a ‘bit off’ or ‘not quite right’ and may exhibit signs such as:
● Changes in behaviour – such as in the stable, being groomed, or tacked up
● Decreased performance – knocking fences, hanging on one rein,
unwillingness to bend, going disunited, shortened stride, slower off the clock
● Gait problems: e.g. tracking-up/short stride
● Stiff/ tense/ cold backed
● Unwillingness to work or behavioural changes such as bucking/ rearing/napping/ head shaking
● Problems with head carriage
● Stiffness older horses
Chiropractic can help improve recovery time and outcomes in diagnosed illness or injury, for example:
● Tendon injury
● Kissing spine